HIP HOP QUELLE CHRIS The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow; Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, postponed due to COVID-19 virus

‘I bring so many different flavours, that I think it behoves you to go into it open minded.’ In conversation, Quelle Chris is as witty and imaginative as his music suggests. Raised in Detroit and currently residing in Brooklyn, the rapper-producer has released a steady stream of underground gems over the past decade, including last year’s Guns, and 2018’s Everything’s Fine, an inspired collaboration with wife Jean Grae. This month sees him play Scotland for the first time, with a freshly minted album in the bag.

Like 2015’s Innocent Country, Innocent Country 2 is a full collaboration with Chris Keys, the maestro behind the nagging piano hook and drums of Guns highlight ‘Obamacare’. Their method, as Quelle explains, is to start small. ‘Chris has a way of sending me like two seconds of a piano riff and we'll start from there. We keep adding putty until it feels right.’

Thematically, Innocent Country 2 builds on the

concerns of Innocent Country. ‘It was like, as much as we try, at our core, we're all fucked up. This one is more along the lines of, yeah it's fucked up, but we can handle it. Here's a blanket and shield and possibly a sword to carry along the way.’ Live, Quelle keeps it simple. ‘I'm a two turntable

and a mic type guy. It's my favourite way to get down. As far as what to expect from the show, I will say this; I've yet to do a show where I haven't had people come up to me and in so many or less words tell me it was the best show they've ever seen. And I'm not shitting you. We out here to have a good time!’ (Stewart Smith)

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POST-PUNK PUBLIC PRACTICE Nice’n’Sleazy, Glasgow, Sat 9 May; Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sun 10 May

As a band, Public Practice are aware of the tangible power that comes through opposition. Although firmly indebted to the New York post- punk tradition of the 1970s, they look out to other sounds and don't ignore the four decades of musical evolution that have taken place since that scene first emerged. New album Gentle Grip deals with tension

and release, both musically (danceable rhythm sections cut through with angular guitars) and in the lyrics. Lead lyricist Sam York tells us that ‘the overarching themes surround essential “moral gymnastics” how do we function in society? How do you walk through your daily life trying to be good when everything is so corrupt?’ This constant questioning and lack of certainty adds to the group’s unpredictability, with songs taking unexpected turns and wrong- footing the listeners. ‘You don’t always get the chorus when you want it,’ York says, ‘and some songs will leave you questioning what the chorus actually is.’

In terms of their live gigs, York says the

band very much enjoy what they’re doing and want the audience to feel and understand that. Discussing how they put on a show, she says, ‘we don’t shy away from the fact that we are performers, we don’t shy away from the theatrics,’ referencing not only key post-punk/ new wave inspirations like Talking Heads but also traditional pop music. ‘The music is how we got to the stage, but when you have that stage you should use it.’ (Sean Greenhorn)

84 THE LIST 1 Apr–31 May 2020